“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
I could think of other things to do
To bear the heat of California
Than to be compared to a
Sweltering sunny day.
What of this outdoor fun –
To see these plays and hear funny puns?
To heck with rhyme and sonnet form
I’m done, read on, and let me mourn
My lack of poem skills. (Exeunt Intern.)
West Los Angeles
Armed with two of Shakespeare’s best known works, The Actors Gang will regale you with two hilarious performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night: The Superhero Edition. With two great romantic comedies of loves confused and found, this is sure to be a midsummer night’s delight. A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays at the Ivy Substation in Culver City Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm for the rest of July; general admission $34.99, students/seniors $30. Twelfth Night: The Superhero Edition is part of the Annual Free Summer Theatre in the Park and runs through August every Saturday and Sunday mornings at 11 am in Media Park in Culver City.
In the middle of summer, it’s only fit that you go see A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presented by the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. This rendition of the beloved tale of four lovers bumbling around in the forest is running at the Japanese Garden at the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, from July 9-28 only. Ticket prices depend on desired seat location.
There’s no perfect season for light-hearted romantic comedies like summer. Theatricum Botanicum gives you the opportunity to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Taming of the Shrew. Running from July 13-September 28 and July 14-September 21 respectively, these performances are bound to add some delightful humor to the rest of your summer. Ticket prices depend on desired seating, but children 7-12 are $10, and children 6 and under are free.
Independent Shakespeare Company returns to the Old Zoo in Griffith Park to present two famous Shakespearean plays – Macbeth and As You Like It. The well-known revenge driven drama Macbeth runs from July 13-August 31, and the romantic comedy As You Like It runs from August 1-September 1. Admission is free, and performances start at 7 pm.
This summer, the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company brings The Tempest and Hamlet to you! Come see the much-loved play of justice served and the famous tragedy of a son avenging his father’s wrongful death at the main campus of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. The Tempest runs from July 12-14, and Hamlet runs from July 19-August 4. Admission is $20, but children under 18 are free. Festival grounds open at 5:30 pm, chat with the actors before the show at 6:45, and settle down on your picnic blanket at 8 pm for the performance.
Santa Clarita Shakespeare Fest invites you to select performances of Henry IV, Part One. In one of the Bard’s historic plays, the frivolous son of England’s king shapes up and overthrows the rebel force. Running on July 13, 14, 20, 21 and August 3 & 4 at Rivendale (at the entrance of Towsey Canyon Park), Henry IV is free to the general public. Gates open at 6 pm, performance starts at 7.
To thine own Shakespeare-fanatic self be true, and see the famous tragedy of Hamlet, performed by Murmur Theater. Running only from July 26-28 and August 2-4 at Studio City Stages, these performances are a rare opportunity this summer. Tickets are $10.
Elite Theatre Company performs the ever-popular A Midsummer Night’s Dream from June 14-July 21, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. Come enjoy these select performances at the Elite Theatre in Oxnard before closing night! General admission is $18, students and seniors are $15.
Thanks to the Long Beach Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s once-highly regarded work, Cymbeline, is brought back to comedic life this August. Long forgotten, Cymbeline is the story of heirs to the throne hidden and a faithful lover wrongly accused of infidelity all on the verge of execution, only to have the secrets revealed and a happy ever after for everyone. Performances run from August 23 to September 28; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm. Admission is $20.
Long Beach Playhouse adds to this summer’s theatrical treats with A Midsummer Night’s Gay Dream. A modern twist on the classic romantic comedy, the story of misplaced and mismatched love runs from July 27-August 24 at the Studio Theatre. Tickets can be purchased in person, by phone, or by email.
For the rest of summer, Shakespeare Orange County brings two beloved Shakespeare plays to the Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove, Twelfth Night and Macbeth. From July 18-August 3, you can see a hilarious rendering of the ever-popular romantic comedy, and the allegedly cursed drama runs from August 15-August 31. Admission is $35, students and seniors are $33.
To go or not to go; that is the question. It’s summer, so why not indulge and let Shakespeare By The Sea come to you as they tour through Southern California. You can see their performances of the comedic All’s Well That Ends Well and the historic drama King John in various parks near you throughout July and August. Come see a romantic comedy in which a woman outsmarts the man of her dreams to get him to love her, and a dramatic interpretation of history that could rival Game of Thrones. Just so you have a taste of where they’ll be: Manhattan Beach, Torrance, Hermosa Beach, San Pedro, and South Pasadena are only a few places on the itinerary. Admission is free, and seating is based on a first-come-first-serve basis.
- Cynthia Park